Actions to Date
June 20, 2018
Students, colleagues, friends,
As the academic year comes to a close, the end of President Sullivan’s term approaches, and President-elect James Ryan prepares to take office, I write to provide a final update from the Deans Working Group that President Sullivan convened last August to lead the University’s response to the events of August 11 and 12, 2017.
Since I last wrote at the beginning of the semester, we have continued to make and see progress along all three aspects of our work: safety and security, living our values, and marshalling our intellectual resources to help us understand and respond to last August’s events. To view a comprehensive list of our accomplishments to date, please visit the Deans Working Group’s website.
Over the course of the spring semester, we made progress on the following fronts:
- We requested $30 million in funding from the Board of Visitors for faculty hiring, scholarships, and efforts to enhance bridging across differences within the University community, as reported recently here. The Board approved a $20 million expansion to the Bicentennial Professors Fund to support inclusive excellence in faculty hiring; $5 million to provide 50 additional University Achievement Awards and support an additional 50 Blue Ridge Scholarships for the class entering this fall; and $5 million in concept with $1.5 million initially available to pilot a “Bridging Project” to support diversity programming designed to help students, faculty, and staff benefit from the University's diversity by connecting with and learning from members of the University community different from themselves.
- After its own deliberations and receiving community and public input, the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape developed principles and recommendations about the display of visible historic symbols on Grounds. The Deans Working Group submitted the Committee’s report to President Sullivan for review and implementation.
- In collaboration with the Office of University Counsel and First Amendment experts in the Law School, the Deans Working Group assisted President Sullivan in developing a time, place, and manner policy for expressive activity of unaffiliated persons on Grounds. Throughout the process, the Deans Working Group sought and received input from across the University community. The University has amended existing policy PRM-017, “Use of University Facilities and Limits on Direct Solicitation and Advertising,” to incorporate the new provisions. Because this policy represents a major change for our community, the Deans Working Group recommends that the University review the policy next year.
- In collaboration with President Sullivan, the Provost’s office, and the Center for Survey Research, the Deans Working Group launched a pan-university climate survey to gather views and perceptions of diversity, equity, and belonging among students, faculty, and staff. That survey is open until June 15, and we encourage all members of the University community to complete it. (Those who have not yet responded should have recently received an email from CSR with the appropriate link.) CSR will make survey results available in the fall, and those results will provide critical information for additional steps the University can take to enhance diversity, equity, and belonging across our community.
- Following the recommendations of Margolis Healy & Associates, a respected higher education safety and security consulting firm, the University created a new position to oversee the University’s efforts around safety and security. Gloria Graham a veteran law enforcement official with more than 22 years of service at higher education institutions across the nation, started as Associate Vice President for Safety and Security earlier this month. We have shared with her our own report about August 11 as well as the Margolis Healy report.
Grappling with the aftermath of white supremacist violence in our community has not been easy. We have healed both individually and collectively. We have initiated difficult conversations and honest self-examination. We have taken stock and taken action. The engagement of so many members of the University community in this process has underscored the enduring significance of our values of diversity, equality, mutual respect, and open dialogue and our mission to advance knowledge, educate citizens, and improve the human condition. We have made considerable progress this year, but we know much work remains to be done, both on our Grounds and in our broader community.
As we look to the years ahead, my hope is that all members of the University community will continue to embrace the Deans Working Group’s multifaceted charge: of enhancing the safety and security of our community; of living our values and engaging in self-examination of our own climate, culture, and environment; and of leading by putting our considerable scholarly resources toward better understanding of August’s events, their larger implications, and their relationship to developments in the nation and the world.
I look forward to continuing to shape the future of our University together.
Risa L. Goluboff
University of Virginia School of Law
January 23, 2018
- Published University Police Department Timeline and Observations and Improvements document about the University’s response to August 11 events.
- Attended and participated in various student events, including participating in a livestreamed interview with the Cavalier Daily and presenting at a Student Council meeting.
- Met with various groups and individuals across the University, including the Diversity Deans across schools, the Women’s Leadership Council, representatives of the Black Student Alliance and Minority Rights Coalition, and various other faculty, staff, and student groups.
- Attended meetings of the Faculty and Staff Senates to discuss working group progress.
- Delivered public remarks to various University and community audiences about the events of August 11 and 12 and the University’s response.
- Helped update the University’s “Open Burn and Open Flame” policy to enable University Police Department officers to respond appropriately to open flames on University property.
- Helped reclassify the Academical Village as a “facility.” The University’s “Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives” policy prohibits members of the general public and visitors to Grounds from possessing, storing, or using any weapon in any University facility or while attending sporting, entertainment, or educational activities. Designating the Academical Village as a facility, consistent with its multi-purpose use as a residential, academic, and administrative space, extended the same regulations to the Lawn.
- Worked with University counsel and legal scholars to develop time, place, and manner policies that will both protect robust nonviolent free speech on Grounds and better prepare the University to respond to any violence and intimidation.
- Received input from Margolis Healy and other safety and security experts and continue to work with University administration on strategic implementation of recommendations.
- Delivered Deans Working Group progress reports to Board of Visitors during their September and December 2017 meetings.
- Expanded content on the Deans Working Group website, including creating an “Events” page to capture ongoing events at the University related to August 11-12 as well as diversity, equity, and belonging.
- Created Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape at the University of Virginia led by President Emeritus John Casteen and Professor Claudrena Harold.
- Reviewed report preliminary to commissioning campus climate survey.
January 25, 2018
Students, colleagues, friends,
I hope that the new year is off to a great start for all of you. As we begin a new semester, I write to share the progress of the Deans Working Group and to invite you to continue to participate in our work.
Since our last update, the Deans Working Group has been actively engaged with the Board of Visitors, the administration, and our broader community to develop the University’s ongoing response to the events of August 11 and 12. To view a comprehensive list of our accomplishments to date, please visit the Deans Working Group’s website.
From the start, our charge has been multi-faceted: First, we must work to enhance the future safety and security of our community. Second, we must focus on living our values and engaging in self-examination of our own climate, culture, and environment. Third, we must lead by advancing our mission and putting our considerable scholarly and pedagogical resources, talents, and expertise toward better understanding of August’s events, their larger implications, and their relationship to developments in the nation and the world.
The first part of our charge occupied much of our time over the fall semester, and we have made significant progress. The University has expanded police and ambassador coverage across Grounds and increased the coordination between the various schools and units and the University Police Department. The University also hired Margolis Healy & Associates, a highly respected higher education safety and security consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive review of our safety and security infrastructure, policies, and tools. The report they shared at the December meeting of the Board of Visitors is available here.
The Deans Working group undertook an examination of what happened on Grounds on August 11, recommended policy changes, and offered additional suggestions about how to respond differently in the future. The University administration and Board of Visitors have already adopted two of the most important policy recommendations. Our open flame policy now ensures that the University Police will have information about open flame approvals—or lack thereof—that will allow them to respond appropriately to torches or other open flames on University property. The Academical Village has been designated a “facility,” which allows us to prohibit anyone from bringing weapons onto the Lawn and the Range. The Deans Working Group is now working with University counsel and legal scholars to develop time, place, and manner policies that will both protect robust nonviolent free speech on Grounds and better prepare the University to respond to any future violence and intimidation.
We are now able to devote more attention to the second and third parts of our charge. The Deans Working Group has embarked on a thorough examination of our climate and environment. We have been holding roundtables, meeting with representatives of many constituencies, and soliciting input from all sectors of our community. We have created an Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape at the University of Virginia to formulate principles and make recommendations about the display of visible historic symbols on Grounds. We are preparing a pan-University climate survey so that we can understand the many ways our community succeeds and where it can still improve. Once we have that information, we are resolved to make the changes for which it calls.
Finally, the Working Group is examining how the University can approach what happened here as a launching pad for future research, teaching, and the advancement of knowledge. Against August’s stark evidence of enduring fault lines within our society, universities provide a crucial venue for full, frank, and open exchange of ideas. The University of Virginia now has the occasion to take the lead in this discourse. In December, I presented preliminary ideas to the Board of Visitors for undertakings and investments that will enable us to assume the leadership role thrust upon us in this pivotal moment. As the semester progresses, the Deans Working Group will continue to explore these and additional opportunities.
What is the role of the University community in this process? We hope you will continue to engage with us in imagining our shared future. We encourage you to become familiar with the Deans Working Group website. We hope that you will visit and consider attending some of the events that have been planned to support our work. In particular, we hope you will join the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape for a public work session tomorrow, Friday, January 26th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room in Newcomb Hall. In this session, the Advisory Committee hopes to hear your suggestions on how to remember and recognize the University’s history, foster our contemporary values and future aspirations, and celebrate our highest ideals. More information on the Advisory Committee’s work, including an opportunity to share input online, is available here.
I look forward to seeing you at future events, hearing from you on our website, sharing more with you as our plans develop, and continuing to shape the future of our University together.
Risa L. Goluboff
University of Virginia School of Law
December 4, 2017
Deans Working Group Creates Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape
The Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape at the University of Virginia will formulate principles and make recommendations about the display of visible historic symbols on Grounds.
September 11, 2017
Dear Colleagues, Students, Friends,
I am writing to share with you information, observations, and recommendations related to the August 11 white supremacist march on Grounds. Now posted on the Deans Working Group website is a timeline of events of that afternoon and evening prepared by the University Police Department in conjunction with the Office of University Counsel. We have also included suggestions for how the University could have improved its response.
We are devastated that white supremacists violated our Grounds and put members of our community in harm’s way. Our goal is to prevent that from occurring again. Threats and intimidation have no place on our Grounds, and as the Rector, President, and larger University community have made clear, the University will not tolerate them. Reckoning with the events of the weekend of August 11 requires a long-term commitment to creating a safer, more equitable, tolerant, and inclusive university community. It also requires us to model for the larger society those values that make the University unique. Among those values are reflection and learning.
As the Deans Working Group turns to the next phases of our work—examining the University’s culture, climate, and landscape, and investing in research and teaching around the issues August 11 has made only more urgent—we will continue to solicit ideas and suggestions from all members of the University community. I welcome and urge your continued input.
Dean, School of Law
August 23, 2017
- The University has expanded police coverage across Grounds.
- The University has extended the Ambassadors program to provide on-Grounds coverage, including of the Lawn and residential areas.
- The University Police Department (UPD) is coordinating closely with schools and units in order to provide additional security support for upcoming events.
- The University has hired Margolis Healy & Associates, a highly respected higher education safety and security consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive review of our safety and security infrastructure, policies, and tools.
- UPD is continuing to collaborate with their counterparts in other agencies (e.g., Charlottesville Police Department and Albemarle County Police Department) to monitor activities and respond to emergencies.
- University Counsel is reviewing state laws and University policies governing weapons on Grounds.
- The University is continuing to reach out to our students and employees who were injured.
- UPD is actively investigating several incidents that occurred on the evening of August 11, and the University is asking for the prosecution of any and all violations of the law.
- The University is reviewing the application of its safety alert protocols in light of the August 11-12 events and will educate the community about such protocols and their application.
- Going forward, UPD will be informed whenever the Office of Environmental Health and Safety approves uses of open flame devices on Grounds. This will allow UPD to take appropriate action against use that does not have such approval.
- UPD is committed to full enforcement of section 18.2-423.01 of the Virginia Code, which states “any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”
- The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) has participated in several Town Halls for students, staff and faculty to reflect on the events of August 11 and 12.
- Ongoing programming is being developed by the various schools, the Working Group, the Division of Student Affairs, the Provost’s office and faculty, staff and student groups and individuals. Information about that programming will be updated frequently and will be available on the website.
- The Deans Working Group has created a website that will serve as a central hub for its efforts. On that website you will find resources, updates, and a community input form for ideas and concerns.